Saturday, April 30, 2011

WCU AD: Ask Chip Smith

April 29, 2011  (courtesy

Catamount fans,

It has been while since I posted to the apologies for this lapse. It has been a busy time on the Western Carolina campus for the last few weeks. The most notable excitement has been the naming of a new chancellor for the University. Dr. David Belcher will take over the responsibilities of WCU Chancellor on July 1, 2011.

I've had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Belcher a couple of times since the announcement and am very much looking forward to working with him. He has a strong background in intercollegiate athletics, having just chaired the NCAA Peer Certification Review for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. This review is performed in a 10-year cycle for all NCAA institutions. It is a very thorough, in-depth analysis of the progress and procedures of each institution, involving the entire campus community. It also provides a tremendous overview of the entire athletic department, its personnel, policies, procedures, progress, and plans for the future. The experience and knowledge that Dr. Belcher will bring from this review will be invaluable for WCU Athletics in the coming years. He also will take a very active part in making our athletic program successful, coming from an institution that sent both its men's and women's programs to the NCAA Tournament this year.

Now on to the questions:

Michael S. asks: What are the chances of WCU adding another varsity sport, and will we play UNCC in football?Michael, in regard to adding an additional sport, we are constantly evaluating our mix of opportunities. Currently, any additional team that would be added would be for women student-athletes, in accordance with gender equity requirements. We are annually conducting interest surveys and holding on-campus forums to encourage student feedback into the most promising sports to add. We will continue this process and encourage you to take part in the forums next fall. As for playing UNCC in football, we have already signed a two-year contract to play the 49ers. They will come to Cullowhee on November 1, 2014, and we will return the favor at a date to be determined in the 2015 season.

Drew asks: Why don't the Catamounts have a single apparel sponsor?

Drew, as you know, many athletic departments have any single sponsor for all of their sports. For the most part, these are major institutions that field several teams and have national and international fan followings. Much of the impact these sponsors receive is through the sale of logo apparel. Conversely, there are a few institutions below the football championship (FCS) level that have this kind of recognition. Therefore, coaches rely on relationships that they have built over the years with different companies. For example, Coach [Larry]Hunter has a relationship with the Adidas company, Coach [Karen] Middleton with Nike, and Coach [Bobby] Moranda with DeMarini. Other coaches have relationships with other apparel manufacturers and are able to supply gear to their teams from those companies.

Again thank you for your interest and your questions and please keep those letters coming....

Go Catamounts!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baseball: Leggett # 7 Legacy

Prior to first pitch on Wednesday night, the Catamounts honored former head coach Jack Leggett as the inspiration behind the "Leggett Number 7 Legacy" program. Each season, one deserving WCU player will have the honor of wearing the No. 7 jersey, this year's recipient is senior Stephen Notaro. 
“In my 34 years of coaching, a lot of things have come my way, and I've been very fortunate, but to be honest with you, this one means the most of all of them,” Leggett said. “To be remembered after being gone 18 years by Bobby and the people at Western Carolina; it's an honor.”

Leggett Number 7 Legacy

Garren Named SoCon Track Athlete of the Week

WCU junior Felisha Garren has been named SoCon Women's Outdoor Track Athletes of the Week, for her performance at the SoCon Outdoor Track and Field Championship, April 22-23. The selection was made by the league's track and field coaches. Garreb won the 400m dash with a time of 53.99, she also finished second in the 200m dash with a time of 24.23 and ran anchor in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays. Western Carolina finished first in the 4 x 100m and second in the 4 x 400m.

Garren SoCon Track Athlete of the Week

Baseball: Cats fall to Clemson

Clemson won the sever weather shorted game by a score of 6-4 (eight innings). Taylor Sandefur had six solid innings of relief work on Wednesday night, striking out a season-high of six.

Cats fall to Clemson

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baseball: Upcoming Games

Cats Rally Past High Point

Western Carolina rallied in the late innings to stretch its current winning streak to three, and made it nine-straight over High Point University of the Big South Conference.  The win sweeps HP for the season and keeps the Cats undefeated against the Panthers.   Junior Andrew Blackwell pitched three innings of relief for his first win of the season.

Cats rally past High Point

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baseball: Clemson

Clemson Tigers
Wednesday, April 27th 2011 at 6:00 pm
Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

Western Carolina hosts Clemson at Hennon Stadium in a rescheduled game from March 9.  Fans should plan to arrive early, as prior to first pitch, WCU will conduct a special ceremony to recognize former Catamount head coach Jack Leggett for whom the "Leggett Number 7 Legacy" program has its inspiration.

Clemson Tigers

Baseball: High Point

High Point Panthers
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm
Williard Baseball Stadium, High Point, NC

High Point (game 2)

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Catamount Golf Tour

The Shootout at the Marion Lake Club

Date: Friday, April 29th, 2011
Event: The Shootout at the Marion Lake Club
Location: Nebo, North Carolina
Time: 1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start

Catamount Golf Tour Makes 1st Stop This Week!

The Shootout at the Marion Lake Club

Baseball: Notaro Named SoCon Player of the Week

Senior Stephen Notaro is the Southern Conference's Player of the Week for games played April 18-24. Notaro led the Catamounts with a .750 batting average (9-for-12), nine base hits including two doubles and his second home run of the season. Notaro drove in 10 runs in three games, and had three multi-hit games including a career-best 5-for-5 effort on Sunday to go along with six RBIs and four runs scored.

Notaro SoCon Player of the Week

Baseball: Cats take rubber match with Wofford

Austin Schultz drove in six runs on a 3-for-6 performance on Sunday afternoon, enroute to Sunday afternoon's 25-14 rubber match victory over the Wofford Terriers. The win gave the Cats the series victory over Wofford.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Baseball: Cats win big

Freshman Jordan Smith tossed a complete-game for the Catamounts on Saturday, striking out 8, and allowing only 4 hits in a 11-0 blow-out of the Terriers. Celebrating his 19th birthday with his scheduled start, Smith finished just one strikeout shy of matching his career high by fanning eight. Sunday's rubber match is scheduled for a 2:00 pm first pitch.

Cats blank Wofford

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Track & Field: Day 1

Times, they are a changing. After the 1st day of the SoCon Track and Field Championships, WCU sits in 3d place in BOTH men's and women's scoring.  First it was baseball, now it looks as if we're in for a drop in Track & Field as well.  2010-11, a nightmare in Catamount athletics. 

Day one, Track & Field Championships

Thursday, April 21, 2011

T&F: Outdoor Championships

The WCU Men's and Women's Track & Field teams are head to Birmingham, AL and Samford University for the 2011 SoCon Outdoor Track & Field Championships, better know as the annual battle with ASU for both the men's & women's outdoor team championships. The Cats and Mountaineers will battle on Friday and Saturday, April 22-23. Good Luck Catamounts.

SoCon T&F Championships

SoCon Link   SoCon Outdoor T&F Championships

Baseball: Wofford weekend series


Monday, April 18, 2011

Cats Drop Sunday finale, series to GSU

In the rubber match of the weekend series between WCU and GSU, Georgia Southern scored 11 runs in the top of the fourth inning, then had to hold on as the Cats made a big run, but came up short in the final score. The two teams combined for 32 hits in the 16-13 GSU win.

Cats drop series finale

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Breaking News: Gray to UNCW

Andre Gray, assistant basketball coach at Western Carolina University, will join the UNC Wilmington men’s basketball coaching staff.   At Western, he was the recruiting coordinator, handled scouting reports and academic support.

Gray to UNCW

T&F: WCU Invitational

The Catamount Athletic Complex was host to the 2011 WCU Invitational on Friday, where the Cats clawed their way to 25 first-place finishes and 67 top-five finishes in the day long event.  The Catamounts will return to action as they head to Birmingham, Ala., and the 2011 SoCon Outdoor Championships next Friday. 

The WCU Invitational

Saturday, April 16

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baseball: Cats slam GSU 12-4

Western Carolina pounded out a dozen hits and capitalized on Georgia Southern errors to win the opener of the three-game SoCon series at Hennon Stadium by a score of 12-4.   Matt Benedict turned in a solid starting performance to pickup the win. Georgia Southern's undefeaded starter Chris Beck (5-1) was pounded with his first loss of the season, allowing 10 runs on 10 hits. Game two of the series is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Cats over GSU 12-4

Cullowhee this weekend

Baseball: GSU (weekend series)

[image] Georgia Southern Eagles
Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm (game #1)
Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

Georgia Southern (weekend series)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sumler Named 2011 Mid-Major Freshman All-America

Trey Sumler, the Southern Conference's consensus selection for Freshman of the Year, garnered another award this week by being named to the 2011 Mid-Major Freshman All-America team, as selected by Sumler garnered both top rookie honors from both the SoCon head coaches and the media association. He is the second WCU rookie to receive top freshman honors in the past three years as teammate Harouna Mutombo was the Freshman of the Year in 2008-09.

Sumler named to Mid-Major Freshman All-America Team

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baseball: What happens now?

Just how bad is it for Catamount baseball this season? A look the ACT headline about Wednesday's game at McCormick Field: "UNCA completes 1st ever series sweep over WCU" tells the story.

The Bulldogs' 7-4 victory over Western Carolina completed its first ever season sweep of the Catamounts since UNC Asheville's program was established in 1985.

“I did not know that,” said Asheville coach Tom Smith, who played for WCU in the early 1970s. “Being a Catamount alum, that makes it special. It's special for us. I've got to tip my hat to Ian Graham. He had a couple of big plate appearances, caught a good game, threw out a runner — just an outstanding night for him.”

Yes indeed, it was special alright.  UNCA is currently 12-20 Overall, 5-7 in the Big South Conference (7th place of  9 teams). 

Baseball falls to UNCA

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cats win 3-2 over Samford.

Freshman Jordan Smith worked through seven innings with seven strikeouts while five relief pitchers combined to hold on for the win in Southern Conference action Saturday afternoon at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. Stephen Notaro's 2 RBI home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning secured the win and the series victoty for the Catamounts.

Cats pick up series victory over Samford

Mountains vs. Beaches: Another Mountain Win

The Mountains swept The Beaches in the Third Annual Mountains vs. Beaches Meet on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. The Catamount men's team came out with the top score of 182.50, Appy State came in second, followed by ECU, then Wilmington. The Mountain's women's teams (WCU & ASU) also won their meet by a commanding score 368 - 313.

Mountains defeat Beaches, again

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Today in Cullowhee: T&F–Baseball–Softball

Baseball: Cats rally for 12th inning victory

Freshman Cody Jones delivered a walk-off, RBI single through the right side of the infield in the home half of the 12th inning to score the winning run over Samford, 4-3, Friday night at Hennon Stadium. Game two of the three-game series is set for 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Cats rally for win over Samford

Friday, April 8, 2011

David O. Belcher named chancellor

David O. Belcher, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock since 2003, has been elected chancellor of Western Carolina University by the Board of Governors of the multi-campus University of North Carolina. UNC President Tom Ross placed Belcher’s name in nomination today, Friday, April 8, during a regular meeting of the board. Belcher, 53, will assume his new duties July 1, succeeding John W. Bardo, who is stepping down after 16 years in the post.

David O. Belcher

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baseball: Samford (weekend series)

Samford Bulldogs
Friday, April 8th 2010 at 1:00 pm (Game #1)
Hennon Stadium, Cullowhee, NC

Samford Bulldogs

T&F: Mountains vs Beach

Mountains vs. Beaches Track & Field Meet
Where: Catamount Athletic Complex
When: Saturday
Who: WCU & ASU vs. UNCW & ECU

Mountains vs. Beaches

SoCon Academic All-Conference

The Southern Conference announced its Academic All-Conference team for the 2010-11 winter season, a total of 23 student-athletes from Western Carolina were named to the team.

To be eligible, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average entering the winter season and were required to compete in at least one-half of their team's competitions during the recently-concluded winter campaign. In addition, the student-athletes must have successfully completed at least 24 credit hours in the previous two semesters.

Among all institutions, Samford had the highest number of academic all-conference team members with 24 followed closely by Western Carolina (23), Elon (22) and Davidson (21).

SoCon Academic All-Conference

Softball/Basaeball: Cats drop 3 on Wednesday

Catamount softball was swept by Winthrop 14-4 & 9-3 Wednesday afternoon, in the final non-conference doubleheader of the season, at the Catamount Softball Complex, while Clemson scored 10 runs between the third and fifth innings on to rally past Catamount baseball for a 12-3 victory in nonconference action at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, SC.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

T&F: Van Pelt Receives SoCon Honors

Catamount junior Jamie Van Pelt was named the Southern Conference Men's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week. The Florida native launched a distance of 160'8" in the discus and followed up with a hammer toss of 175'11" during the Tiger Track Classic in Auburn, Ala.   Jamie currently ranks first in the conference in the discus and is top five in the hammer and javelin.

Van Pelt receives SoCon Honors

Softball: Winthrop (DH)

Winthrop (Double Header)

Basketball: Williams Named All-State

Senior guard Mike Williams was selected to the 2010-11 University Division All-State Men's Basketball team by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA). Williams was one of three SoCon players selected for the 10-member squad.

Williams named All-State

Softball: Cats sweep NC A&T

The Catamounts won their first double-header sweep of the season with the help of  a grand-slam by Morgan Wyatt, and a game-winning sacrifice fly by Kelly Braman in game 2. Winning the second game (8-7) completed the doubleheader sweep of North Carolina A&T Aggies at the Catamount Softball Complex.  Wyatt's grand-slam was her second of the season. 

Cats sweep Aggies

Baseball: at Clemson

[image] Clemson Tigers
Wednesday, April 6th 2011 at 6:30 pm
Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Clemson, SC

Clemson Tigers

T&F: Mountains vs. Beaches Meet

What: Mountains vs. Beaches Track & Field Meet
Who: WCU & ASU vs. UNCW & ECU
Where: Catamount Athletic Complex
When: Saturday, April 9th - all day

Mountains vs. Beaches Meet

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baseball: Cougars sweep the Cats

The Charleston Cougars outhit the Catamounts 13-6 and completed the weekend sweep of the series by a score of 15-3, with ASU's sweep of Wofford over the weekend, the Catamounts are now left in the cellar in conference play.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Baseball: Cougars blitzkrieg the Cats

The Cougar's blitzkrieg of the Catamounts resulted in a total of 13 runs being scored by Charleston in the first two innings of Saturday's game.  The Cougars then coasted the remainder of the way to a 15-8 victory over WCU in Southern Conference action at Patriots Point, Mt. Pleasant, SC.   The Cougars exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first and added seven more in the second to open a 13-1 lead over the Catamounts.  The Cats had 9 hits, but 10 were left on base, setting up the Cougar's series win.   The final game of the three game series will be played at 1:00 pm Sunday. 

Cats drop second game to Charleston

Softball: Cats split DH with Greensboro

The softball Catamounts picked up a Southern Conference double header series split, defeating UNC Greensboro by a score of 3-2 in the first game and then dropping the second game 18-3, at the Catamount Softball Complex.  The rubber match of the series will be played Sunday at 1:00 pm in Cullowhee.

Cats split double header

Football: Cats pick up two preferred walk-ons

Panther Creek running back Jonathan Douglas and Tuscola defensive back/wide receiver/running back Austin Chambers have accepted preferred walk-on possitions with Western Carolina.   Last season, Douglas carried the ball 282 times for 1,721 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also caught 36 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns.  Chambers received All-Appalachian Athletic Conference and All-WNC honors in 2010 and was a four-year varsity player and shares the Mountaineers’ record for career interceptions (13).

Panther Creek RB headed to WCU

Chambers to Western Carolina

Baseball: Cats drop series opener to Charleston

The Catamounts put up 12 hits but stranded 13 base runners to fall 6-3 in the first game of the series to the College of Charleston Cougars on Friday evening in Mt. Pleasant, SC.    Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Saturday afternoon at  Patriot's Point. 

Cats drop opener to Charleston

Friday, April 1, 2011

Softball: Greensboro Weekend Series

softball apr

T&F: Men's team leads SoCon Power Rankings with 211 points

Western Carolina leads the men's power rankings in Outdoor Track & Field midway through the 2011 Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field season.

Men's Outdoor Track & Field Mid-Season Power Rankings

Team - Points
Western Carolina - 211
Appalachian State - 210
Samford - 175
The Citadel - 79
Davidson - 45
Chattanooga- 27
Greensboro - 26
Wofford - 17
Furman - 16

SoCon Power Rankings